In Unit 1, students are introduced to poetry through Love That Dog, a novel written in verse by Sharon Creech. As Jack, the main character in the novel, reads famous poems, students analyze what is happening in the novel and how Jack feels about it, and they also read and analyze those famous poems to identify characteristics of poetry and to determine their theme. They then use the characteristics of poetry they have identified to summarize the poems, and to compare poetry to prose. For the mid-unit assessment, students read new pages of Love That Dog and analyze one of Jack’s poems for the theme and characteristics of poetry, in order to write a summary. They also compare a poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost, with a prose version of the same poem.
Throughout the unit, students are introduced to routines and anchor charts that will be used throughout the rest of the module, as well as the rest of the year. In the first half of the unit, students generate discussion norms and receive their independent reading journals and vocabulary logs. In the second half of the unit, students continue the routine of reading Love That Dog, analyzing the famous poems described, and they prepare for a text-based discussion about how Jack’s feelings about poetry have changed from the beginning of the book to where they are by the end of the unit. For the end of unit assessment, students participate in a small group discussion about how Jack’s feelings about poetry have changed over the course of the book, and they answer short and selected response questions about this.